Planning your dinners for the week is the key to success when completing a Whole 30 – actually, it’s the key to a successful paleo diet, full stop. There’s a huge sense of satisfaction and calmness when you know the last thing on your mind when you leave work on a rainy Wednesday evening is ‘what on earth are we going to have for dinner?’
However, planning your dinners for the week is an art form that takes a while to perfect. To help me explain this better, I’ve taken some tips from ‘Well Fed‘ by Melissa Joulwan which we consider to be a bit of a bible when it comes to paleo tips and recipes. If you haven’t already purchased it make sure you do!
So in order to plan a big Sunday cook up check out these clever tips and you’ll be on your way to stress-free and healthy weeknight dinners!
Make like a restaurant
Chefs know that some things are best served hot off the grill, and some are fine the next day – in fact, they can sometimes taste even better a few days in as the flavours have developed. So when you’re planning your menu, put items like soups, casseroles and stews towards the end of the week, and grilled meats and fresh veges closer to the start. You can cook it all up on Sunday – but this the order in which the food will taste its best.
Enjoy the Process
Plan, plan, plan – and don’t rush! I like to spend the morning making a menu – trawling my cookbooks and Pinterest over a few cups of tea, then I head to the local farmer’s markets for a matcha latte and a big stock up on organically grown veg, then I’ll head off to Pak n Save for all my tinned goods, oils and sauces, herbs and baking products, and so on. If I’m feeling like a few treats, I stop off at Farro on my way home and see what’s new and lovely.
I then have a break (because the whole day can’t be all about food!) and get back into it at about 3-4pm and take my time enjoying the process and making delicious food.
Don’t forget the Tupperware!
Ok, probably not actual Tupperware because – far out – that stuff is expensive. But get yourself to the Warehouse and stock up on Sistema. You’ll need it. A lot of it.
Prep Your Veges
There are so many different ways you can do this and they’re all worth investing the time into. Here’s some things I’ve done in the past that have saved a lot of time for me.
- steam or saute a huge portion of mixed veges – freeze in individual plastic bags for quick dinners
- pre-chop mixed veges and portion into individual plastic bags for the quickest salad of your life
- roast mixed veges to eat hot or cold throughout the week. These go really well with meat for work lunches – and taste and smell delicious!
Don’t forget your snacks!
While you’re in the zone, and in the kitchen, it’s the perfect time to make sure you’ve got your snacks sorted for the week. So make sure you add a few batches of bliss balls to your menu, stock up on almonds and portion them out, or even pre-chop some cold veges for a quick and crunchy snack on the go.